Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Information or Transformation – A Sermon on the Goal of the Word of God for the 15th Sunday of the Year

What do you expect from reading and hearing God’s Word? Do you expect to encounter something that will change you? Frankly, from my discussions with people over the years, many do not even understand the question and, after puzzled looks, respond to me with another question: “What do mean by ‘expect’?”  I then follow up […] Read the rest of this entry »

Get me to the Church on Time! A short meditation on Sunday morning struggles.

One thing I surely have easy as a priest is getting to Church on Sunday. All I have to do is walk down the stairs, go through the dining room and walk the passage through to the Church. And there I am. I realize that it is not as easy for most of my parishioners and […] Read the rest of this entry »

Ask for the Grace to “Tear Up the Memo”

At the bottom of this post is a video of dogs and cats who apparently never “got the memo” that they are supposed to fear and hate each other. As the video makes clear, they are bosom buddies who love to romp, play, wrestle, and even snuggle. How unlikely! And yet there it is before […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Was the Climate and Weather Of Israel Like at the Time of Jesus?

The climate in Palestine both today and at the time of Jesus has two distinct seasons. The wet or rainy season is from the middle of October to the middle of April. The dry or summer season lasts from the middle of June until the middle of September. It is quite dry in these months […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Famine of the Word of God – A Meditation on a Teaching From Amos

Last week we read from the book of the prophet Amos. And something profound yet rather subtle was taught by Amos in the selection from Friday’s Mass. After warning of many sins such as the trampling the needy, putting profit over Sabbath observances, cheating by altering scales and so forth; after also warning of sexual […] Read the rest of this entry »

No more excuses about how the flesh is weak. The spirit is eager and willing!

When it comes to the demands of the moral life, one of the tendencies of our fallen human nature is to emphasize our weakness and minimize the reality of our strength. It is surely a tendency related to the cardinal sin of sloth, wherein we experience sorrow, sadness, or aversion to the good things that […] Read the rest of this entry »

On the Lord’s Team! A Reflection on Sports Providing an Image of the Christian Life

The World Cup captured a lot of attention these past few weeks. I puzzle a bit as to the popularity of soccer since it seems that almost no one ever scores. A fan corrected me, saying that I sounded like a typical American who cares only about results. He said that most soccer fans appreciate the game […] Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Yoking Around: A Homily for the 14th Sunday of the Year

We who live the West live in a time and place where almost every burden of manual labor has been eliminated. Not only that, but creature comforts abound in almost endless number and variety. Everything from air conditioning to hair conditioning, from fast food to 4G internet, from indoor plumbing to outdoor grilling, from instant […] Read the rest of this entry »

On the Relationship and Contrast of Reverence and Fear, as seen in a Powerful Animation

The remarkable video below led me to ponder the difference and relationship between reverence and fear. For reverence is a form of fear, but a healthy form of it. Whereas fear, understood here as a cringing or hostile fear, is an unhealthy type of fear. The Word “reverence” is rooted in the Latin word reveror, […] Read the rest of this entry »

A 4th of July Meditation on the Paradox that Freedom can only exist within limits

On the Fourth of July in the United States of America we celebrate freedom. In particular we celebrate freedom from tyranny, freedom from government that is not representative, and freedom from unchecked power and unaccountable sovereigns. Yet as Christians, we cannot overlook that there are ways of understanding freedom today that are distorted, exaggerated, and detached […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Attachments are, and what they are not.

For most of us, attachments to this world are THE struggle that most hinders our spiritual growth. 80% of the spiritual life is a battle about desire and the fundamental question, “What do you want most, the world and its pleasures, or God and his Kingdom?” So easily this world gets its hooks into us […] Read the rest of this entry »

What were typical homes like in Jesus’ time?

In Jesus’ time, the smallest homes of the very poor might be little more than a square, stone structure covered with a whitewashed sort of stucco. There would typically be one larger multipurpose room and a smaller back room for the animals. Some houses in hilly regions were partial cave dwellings, built up against the […] Read the rest of this entry »